The canaries know it’s spring at the Brothers Greenhouses, located on SW Victory Drive in Port Orchard. For more than 15 years, birds have resided in this retail nursery attached to working greenhouses. Oscar was one of the original birds, earning that name because of his Oscar-Award-worthy singing performances. The birds are delightful.
You will also find goldfish swimming around in their own tank. Owners Marilyn Davis and Cheryl Pelkey are proud of the unique business that started in 1969 as a wholesale growing operation and has been under their ownership since 1996. Davis brings a talented mix of farming and management skills to the business, whereas Pelkey’s skills in the arts as a watercolorist bring creativity to the plantings, display gardens and activities open to the public.
Brothers Greenhouses plants the baskets for the cites of Gig Harbor and Port Orchard. Inspiring combinations of popular petunias and other annuals always make these baskets an impressive display. Mother’s Day plants are especially the most colorful and beautiful.
In addition to bedding plants, houseplants and traditional garden supplies, this nursery has carved out a niche in the specialty areas of bonsai and miniature fairy gardens. The collection of accessories available varies from nature-inspired, miniature ceramic pieces to whimsical gnome and fairy statues not seen in other places.
A banana tree has graced the entrance for about 35 years. This is truly a fun place to shop and explore.
In 2014, the Hobbit House was built on the property as an attraction, with Pelkey as the design inspiration. The very successful Hobbit House has been well documented in the local media over the years and online at Washington TripAdvisor and on the “365 things to do in Washington” Facebook page. Visitors are welcome to go inside and take pictures.
Davis and Pelkey have several other dedicated workers who complement the work they are doing. Sam Maupin is a Master Gardner horticulturist and he often presents lectures at the Brothers Greenhouses and at other locations for garden groups. Maupin is very knowledgeable on garden topics such as plants and soils.
For many years, Maupin has orchestrated a tomato taste-off in September. This event involves tasting many types of tomatoes and voting for your favorite. You will find many unique tomato varieties available for sale every spring as a result of this event.
Elise Maupin is the person behind the online presence on Facebook and behind the website, where she lists the upcoming events. There are interesting events every week to enrich your gardening education and experience. You are welcome to call the nursery to register for workshops or to check inventory.